Hawks take third in district playoffs

Horizon Christian's soccer team picked its biggest stage of the season to play a complete game. The result was a 2-1 win Friday against Crosshill Christian in the third-place match of the District 5-1A championships.

The come-from-behind win on the turf surface of Hillsboro Stadium took away some of the sting the Hawks felt after losing in the semifinals Oct. 29, when they let a first-half lead slip away.

It was Horizon (9-4-1) which mounted the comeback Friday. Crosshill took the lead 13 minutes into the second half, when goalie Tim Johnson couldn't corral a corner kick and the Eagles scored after a brief scramble in front of the goal. Horizon didn't panic, though Johnson had to make a save and watched another shot sail over the crossbar before his teammates could gather themselves completely.

"(Even though) they scored first, we kept moving forward; we kept putting pressure on them," Horizon coach Rick Whitaker said. "We played most of the second half on their end. I was proud of how we hung in there; we've been doing that all season."

With senior captain James Rovianek offering continual encouragement, the Hawks pressed forward on offense. Aman Mann tied the match with 16:28 remaining, when he scored off a Mason Bloomster centering pass that was deflected, but not cleared by the Crosshill defense. Four and a half minutes later, Mann dribbled through multiple defenders on the right side and slid home the game winner from about 10 yards out.

Mann was voted the district player of the year by coaches. Grant Lynn, Raquel Bruggeman and McKenna Roberts were second-team all-league picks. Whitaker was selected league coach of the year.

Life Christian defeated City Christian, 2-1, in Friday's district championship game.

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